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Australian hiker drags broken leg for two days after falling 20ft down waterfall

An Australian hiker had to crawl for two days - dragging his broken leg behind him - after he fell 20ft down a waterfall.

Neil Parker was out walking by himself on what was meant to be a three-hour hike on Mount Nebo, north-west of Brisbane, when he slipped and fell.

The 54-year-old, a hiking guide with Brisbane Bushwalkers Club, broke his leg and wrist in the fall and spent two days in agony, crawling inch by inch to reach an open area, so he could be rescued.

"I caught myself the first time as I started to slide, but I had too much momentum and over I went," Mr Parker told reporters from his hospital bed.

"I was climbing up, so I started looking down and I just started sliding down the face of the rock. And I slid about 20 feet, cartwheeled and slammed into the rock and then landed in the creek on the bottom."

Neil Parker spent two days dragging himself through rugged Australian bushland. Credit: PA

With no PLB, Personal Location Beacon, he tried to use his phone but in the deep ravine, he had no signal and as he put it back in his pocket, he missed and it fell in the creek.

Mr Parker knew there was only one option left to get himself out of the terrifying situation - self-rescue.

He had to retrace his journey back to a junction, as there was a track across the bottom which he knew locals used.

Now I have no way of contacting the outside world and I’m thinking, ‘the only way to get rescued is self-rescue.

– Neil Parker

But a journey which had taken him 40 minutes to walk on Sunday took two days, as he agonisingly dragged his broken body to the opening.

He said: "I figured I've got more of a chance of being found if I can make my way back to there.

"But that was two days of lifting my leg, had a bandage around my elbow so I could use my elbow and just basically scramble and lifting inch by inch."

Mr Walker said the journey took so much longer to do "than he ever imagined", but as an experienced walker he had packed thermals, a head torch and some food.

The Australian hiker dragged himself for two days until he was rescued by helicopter. Credit: AP

"Because it was only meant to be a three-hour trip, I only took a handful of nuts, a protein bar and some lollies (candy) because I thought I'll be back home by lunchtime," he said.

"And so that's pretty much what I've had to eat for those couple of days."

Eventually he made it the open area and he waved a silver space blanket from his kit around until a rescue helicopter spotted him.

He was winched to safety and taken to hospital in Brisbane on Tuesday, but doctors say he faces at least eight weeks of recovery.

A search was launched on Monday after he failed to turn up for work and his boss rang his ex-wife, who raised the alarm.

She discovered he had told friends he was considering a walk to the waterfall.